defaults on Housers

I have been investing in Housers for more than a year now. My experience with Housers was negative at the beginning and then I have changed my mind and re-ranked it.

Now I have new experience – default. Defaults are usual in lending industry. The risks and how they are managed – that is what is interesting in this case: MARISMAS DE ODIEL

535k loan was taken with 11,5% yearly interest rate for period of 6 months on July of 2018. 3,5k of interest was paid.

The interesting part is that Housers asked every investor to vote what to do next.

Voting interface. I have chosen to prolong the contract

I like the idea that everybody is allowed to control their fate, but on the other hand, Housers, with 80+ of staff could prepare some analysis and give their opinion on what is better to do.

Another interesting about this Spanish default is that Housers outsource recovery of money for a hefty 12% + VAT fee. (additionaly Housers pays 1.5% from their pocket)

So investors in this project had two options:

  • A. prolong interest (with lower interest rate!!!)
  • B. give for management company the right to recover the debt.

Housers still did not answer me, why the interest rate for prolonging loan was reduced.

p.s. Housers earned 8.5% on raising this loan.

Drivy. Renting a car on carsharing

All the car rental companies I have used, and I have used 10s of different ones, try to rip off clients. My latest 15 day rent cost me 90€ and I got 3k km. Ford Focus. Even though I checked that I take from one airport and return in another train station I was additionally charged 50€ one way car relocation and 9€ airport fees at the counter. Still good price 140€ for 15 day rental. Also I was offered full insurance, which I did not take, for a whooping 20% of maximum franchise cost – it is worth buying it if I have an accident more than every fifth time during my rental. I believe that upselling the insurance, is the profit margins of insurance companies as many of users do not do the math or don’t have 1.5k at the checkin. When I wanted to extend my rental agreement for 7 days I was offered 290€, that is how I found the Drivy – aka airbnb for cars. The experience was awesome. First I have tested the hybrid car that I wanted to test and second the company is transparent in rental/insurance and that makes them great – no feeling of being ripped off.

Drivy open – is the third thing i like about this company – start renting the car without interaction to a person.

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My networth distribution

While living in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, I have listened to podcast, that inspired me think of my networth. With my New Year resolutions i have decided to increase my networth by 5% 2018. To take action for this, every month I started calculating my networth, but just now decided to publish that for my friends.

p.s. I was very bearish previously on Housers, but I have increase my asset allocation to 5% there.

p.s.2 Mintos – I am very bearish now on this platform. 90% of Mintos is in EBV Finance loan originator paying 9%. 10% are split in low risk originators.

p.s.3 I was lucky with startup Revolut investing and just few weeks ago, with new Revolut financing I got a cash offer (which i did not take) to sell my shares. 20x return in 2 years.

Amazon FBA fail. Focus.

I am constantly looking to buy internet businesses. Usually I do that in Latonas and EmpireFlippers, sometimes Flippa. 2016 Amazon FBA businesses for sale appeared at quite nice valuation 24-30 months income with few hours per week of management. I have analysed 30-50 such businesses but decided not to buy as the risk was too big of not knowing many things. Therefor decided to try to do one product by myself. Initially i spent 100+ hours learning, by reading blogs, watching youtube and listening to podcasts. I even got a mentor who was running single FBA product successfully.  He gave me some shortcuts on product selection, shipping and general questions which would have taken me 10s of hours to find out in couple of minutes.

First i started analysing products that i was passionate / interested myself. As I had some backpain problems, I checked

  • foam rollers – even though the profit margins are insane in this niche, the competition is crazy.
  • standing desks converters – the competition is quite low, but I decided not to do this because the initial investment by my calculations had to be around 40k € to start this, and this is too big amount for me for testing. Another reason is that i stopped believing in converters myself (after using them) and i think the electric standing desk + monitor mount is the best solution for workplace. I might get back to this business in Spain. One of the german companies i admire that sell direct and on Amazon.

So after skipping those two I have chose the ‘perfect’ product for beginner: baby crib bumper. To go more niche and have no competition I decided to manufacture “black crib bumper”. I have ordered 3 samples and decided to go through with one manufacturer. His sample was good, and his communication skills were best. Initially he asked me for 70% down payment, but we agreed on 30%, but I paid 34% as I was eligible to get Alibaba assurance something with free inspection. (at the end i did not get alibaba free inspection and had to hire my own)

So after a product was done – I have sent inspection service – and fail rate was 40%. I was shocked and a factory promised to fix everything. At second inspection i was expecting fail rate to be less than 3%, but it came to 18%, (10% that i would pass and 8% that were really bad).

Finally I have made decision to skip on this deal. My total loss with this learning / experiment was about 1200€.

What i have learned from this:

  1. Textile is difficult. (I have a friend selling t-shirts. he flies to Bangladesh, Vietnam to check for quality himself)
  2. I need to focus. This was my side business that i was not passionate about at all just did for the sake of doing.

Now I am back to grow my dating and classified ads sites 85% of my time and 15% looking for passive investments.

 

 

P2P portfolio update: 2017.10 – 2018.04

Previous update here

EstateGuru. I have increased my allocation to 7.5% of my net worth in this platform. Turned off the auto-invest and doing investment manually. I have contacted support for improving the service with more abilities to filter the auto-invest settings, but they refused to do that. I see the biggest risk in projects, where collateral is Land (I rarely invest manually to Land collateral) or some risky projects such as:

 €1.000.000 house 30 minute drive from Tallinn. I am pretty sure that if this house was offered 50% discount from current valuation it would take months to sell it.

All the projects in Curonian Spit are extremely sensitive. The biggest risk with such projects is Government. The numbers might be right, but if they do not get a permit (which by law they technically should get in X amount of time) the numbers fall apart.

EstateGuru is the first P2P lending company I recommend to my friends

Bondora. Doing nothing with the account. Auto-invest is turned off. Waiting for more results from #strategy3. After 15 months from the start of this experiment I am approaching 50% mark of defaults. I know that 60% default rate would still bring me good return, but i have a feeling that i will have 70-80% of default from strategy3. The good thing that i put only 0,5% of my networth into this strategy testing, and still with the 75% default rate i think i would not lose the money.

Mintos. I have increased my allocation in this platform to 2.5% of net worth. I converted to all the possible currencies and split the risk between different platforms, currencies. Majority of operators i took those who offer collateral. The bad thing i did i exchanged too many DKK and 80% of this currency sits idle, and none of investments available in both primary and secondary market.

Twino. My lowest allocation.

 

 

Housers. They are pushing good ads. I liked especially the one that they claim that real returns are greater than expected. Still they do not convince me

Why I do not like them in short: (longer review here)
1. not clear about the collaterals. Especially on different types of loans.
2. no auto-invest
Maybe later on they will be my next P2P allocation to specific projects where the collateral is clear and understandable. Currently i understand only For buy-to-let and buy-to-sell projects.
USA p2p: PeerStreet, RealtyMogul.
I am thinking  of opening account there. I think it would be a good hedge country and currency wise, especially now when €/$ is @ 1,23. The thing that is stopping me that i have to incorporate in USA (±400$) and hire accountant (500$). So if I invest 50k$ that is 2% fee for first year and 1% fee for next one. Also I have read in many blogs and comments that Auto-invest is also crazy there where majority of projects goes to California.

Crypto arbitrage

Lots of my friends ask me if I am in crypto. What do they usually mean, when they ask this ‘if i am trading cryptocurrencies’. And the answer is no and i do not recommend doing this to any of my friends.

I did cryptocurrency buy/sell in a period of 20 days and doubled my money, but I saw this is too dumb/risky for me. Then i noticed that the prices for cryptos differ in exchanges. For example it was very common that BTC was 10% more expensive in South Korea than in USA. At some point it was even 43% arbitrage. Continue reading